Wrapping up my Inland Valley City Council Tour of 2017, I sat in on a Pomona council meeting Monday night. Not a lot happened, but those sometimes make for the best columns. Hear how it went in Sunday’s column.
Angie Campos, who’s been working at Tony’s Famous French Dips in Pomona since 1971, is still on the job at 80. I profile her in Wednesday’s column.
I knew about Cal Poly Pomona’s WWII history, as do readers of “Pomona A to Z,” but I didn’t know that some rescued horses from Poland ended up there. Not until a talk earlier this month by writer Elizabeth Letts, that is. I tell the story in Friday’s column.
Ah, Pomona, city of wonders. In a warehouse of the Museum of Neon Art, a neon dragon sign that used to perch above the marquee of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is being restored. I visit to watch two craftsmen at work and hear about the project, for Wednesday’s column.
The old Pomona YMCA was part of the Home Tour Nov. 5, and I was there. Here are a few photos. The one above was shot a few days before from inside the American Museum of Ceramic Art, directly across from the Y. Handsome building, isn’t it?
The Y was bought for $2.65 million by the Spectra Co., a Pomona-based builder that specializes in historic preservation, and which plans to give the 1922 building a badly needed renovation before using it as its headquarters. Work has begun and original details that have been long buried are coming to light.
Inside, we were told that this neat white hexagonal tile was revealed in spots where a later layer of flooring was removed.
Above, a view of the basketball court. Note the elevated area on three sides…
That elevated area above the basketball court is a running track with, how fancy, banked turns. This is a view from above of both.
The basement pool is where generations of Pomona kids learned to swim.
Best. Cornerstone. Ever.
Not strictly speaking a historic detail, but this signs in a recreation room are wonderful. Unlike the Village People song, apparently you couldn’t “do whatever you feel.”
The coffeehouse Mi Cafecito has become a hit in downtown Pomona. It was the brainchild of a couple who didn’t know anything about coffee but learned quickly. I write about their unlikely success in Sunday’s column.
Also, extra points if you can spot me in the background of one of the photos!
One of the silliest business signs in the Inland Valley is for Mr. Milk Bottle, an anthropomorphic container of milk outside a convenience store at 1533 Indian Hill Blvd. in Pomona.
The view above is looking south. That side is in decent shape, although the B is missing and the neon is long gone, just as it was when Charles Phoenix photographed it for his 1999 book “Cruising the Pomona Valley.” The paint was peeling like a bad sunburn when Phoenix visited, which is no longer the case.
“With bow tie, top hat and cane, this neon sign is dressed to a ‘T,'” Phoenix wrote, dating the business to “early 1960s.”
As the Waymarking site, which has a page on the sign, observes: “Mr. Milk Bottle advertises for a dairy/convenience store in Pomona, California. He holds a cane in one hand that is pointed at the store, and with his other hand he doffs his top hat to passersby.” I like a polite, friendly sign.
The other side of the sign is in worse shape, with almost every letter gone.
I was scrolling through microfilm of the Claremont Courier last spring when I spotted a Nov. 20, 1961 ad for the business, reproduced below. Mr. Milkbottle (ugh, I hate it as one word) seemed to specialize in milk, cream, half and half, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, ice cream and a few non-dairy items like bread, fruit punch and frozen pies (the better to go with ice cream). Click on the image for a larger view if desired.
Any former or current customers want to share a comment or memory?
The third annual Pomona Reads festival takes place Saturday afternoon in and around the library. Wednesday’s column starts with that and continues with more on the Chaffey wine, a clutch of Culture Corner items and more. Now how much would you pay? Dumb question, since you’re probably reading it for free.
Reader Robin Young was in Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in August when she found a sure sign she was in the old wing: a sticker on the restroom’s towel dispenser with a NAtional prefix (62). As phone exchanges were dropped in 1965, that’s one old and well-preserved sticker! “It’s a time capsule,” Young says with fondness.
Carr Paper Co., by the way, was established in 1944 and lasted at least into the 1980s, and possibly beyond. Founder Dick Carr was also a longtime board member at the hospital and the boardroom was named for him. So it’s kind of heartwarming that one of his company’s stickers is still in place in a humbler spot in the hospital.
In Friday’s column, I write about an experiment at the Fair in attracting Latino millennials: Mi Poco LA, an area set aside for live music, food, coffee and art. I liked it too. The column has a gallery of photos that I took.